Senior Egyptian officer among dead in Sinai bombing

Senior Egyptian officer among dead in Sinai bombing
An Islamic State group affiliate is suspected of involvement in the attack.
2 min read
25 February, 2020
Egypt's Sinai peninsula is hope to local IS affiliate Wilayat Sinai [Getty]
A senior Egyptian military officer is among several killed in a bombing that targeted army personnel in the country's restive Sinai peninsula, medical sources said on Tuesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Shahata Abd Al-Maqsoud, commander of the 563rd Battalion in the Sinai, was killed in a bombing targeting a vehicle he was travelling in at Karm al-Qawadis, North Sinai province, medical sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site.

Sources at the Al-Arish military hospital added that several others were killed and injured in the blast near Sheikh Zuweid, but did not specify the toll.

Abd Al-Maqsoud is the second high-ranking Egyptian military officer to be killed in the province this month.

A number of militant groups including Egypt's Islamic State group affiliate, Wilayat Sinai, have waged a deadly insurgency against the armed forces for nearly a decade.

A militant group associated with IS is suspected of planting an explosive device which was then remotely detonated, tribal sources and eyewitnesses said.

Earlier this month, Wilayat Sinai claimed it blew up a gas pipeline in Sinai connecting Egypt to Israel. Security sources said the pipeline hit was a domestic one.

Concentrated in the North Sinai province, the militants have targeted the military and other security forces but are also accused of carrying out attacks against the country's Coptic Christian minority and tourists, such as in the 2015 downing of a Russian airliner.

Scores of soldiers and civilians have been killed over the course of the conflict, but an unyielding media blackout has made it near impossible to quantify its effects.

Human Rights Watch has accused the Egyptian military of arbitrarily targeting civilians and committing war crimes and other rights abuses.

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